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Ah, social media. Whether it’s checking out what our favourite celebrities are wearing, the latest nail trend, or getting the deets on where you can find the rarest Pokemon, it’s safe to say that two gigabytes of data is insufficient for most of us. Hey, no judgment here, we completely understand.

We also understand that while social media can be extremely fun (and addictive), your online habits may just be spoiling your chances to get a promotion, or that job you really want. How so, you ask? Read on for the five ways social media is holding you back.

1. Your opinions matter – especially to your boss

It goes without saying: We women have strong opinions about a variety of things. And while we should never be afraid to speak out, discretion is of the utmost importance when it comes to broadcasting these thoughts on a very public platform. Be especially careful when it comes to political and social commentary – or anything that might be sensitive. Even if your boss agrees with you right now, there’s no guarantee that future employers might feel the same!

2. Complaints are better dished in person

We all have days where we just need to rant about our job – but your Dayre or Facebook profile is never the place. And we understand, it can be incredibly tempting to post a discreet complaint without specifying names or events, but real talk: Those “subtweets” aren’t as subtle as you think they are. The people involved definitely know, and even if they don’t confront you about it, you might be creating unnecessary tension in the office! Instead, save your tirade for a face-to-face interaction, where you can properly deliver it, complete with re-enactments and personal commentary. It’s far more cathartic, anyway!

3. Strangers don’t understand you

One of the problems with social media is that you never know just how far your post can reach. You might think that your 300-something follower count will leave your Instagram posts relatively unnoticeable, but the truth is it only takes one stranger to stumble upon your feed, or an acquaintance to share a post and send you into infamy – even if you meant no harm. Take Justine Sacco for instance. What was originally a joke for her friends turned into a huge media blowout that deemed her racist and ignorant – all because there was no context. It went viral in just a few hours, and needless to say, when all that cyber attention reached her bosses, she was fired.

Heaving a sigh of relief about your private Twitter account? Hold back the celebration, because our next point is:

4. Nothing is private on the web

Sure, your Snapchat might disappear after 24 hours, and your Twitter and Instagram accounts may be set to private, but if we’ve learnt anything from celebrity scandals, it’s that everything gets aired eventually. (We’re looking at you, Taylor Swift.) Any of your followers can take screenshots of posts and share it with their friends, so never make the mistake of thinking a private account shields you from any sort of issue. The world is a small place, and the colleague you tweeted about may be a good friend of one of your followers. And don’t even think about “subtweeting”, we’ve already been through that.

5. What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet – forever

Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. If you’ve ever cringed at past Facebook (or blog) posts, then imagine what future you, or worst, employers, might think. Sure, you could dismiss this in the knowledge that you can always delete posts, but if you’ve been through the Friendster or MySpace phase, then you’ll know that you have a lot of cleaning to do. The problem is that while you might have forgotten about things you did in the past, your future employers might find that the moment they look up your name, so be extremely thorough.

Don’t worry; we’re not advising you to stave off social media completely. After all, there are so many ways it can boost your career, and a great platform to meet people and voice opinions. As with everything, though, make sure you choose your words wisely.  

 

Want to get ahead in your job? Then check out our 3 useful hacks that help you work from home more efficiently, or these 5 steps to building a business on the side for extra income in Singapore!